9 Sweet Signs Your Casual Relationship Could Be Marriage Material

They could be the one for you.

Last updated on Feb 17, 2024

man with arm around woman's shoulders Bethany Ferr / Pexels

Casual dating means there are "no strings attached" and you get to date other people without any kind of commitment. But what if the other person is actually marriage material?

Dating casually can be a fun and great way to meet potential suitors, but you don’t want to do it forever.

Studies show that casual dating can have negative consequences, like depression, low self-esteem, and physical dangers (such as contracting STIs). In contrast, being happily married is linked to better physical health and mental well-being and living a longer life.


At some point, you might want to couple up, especially if you dream of starting a family someday. But before you take yourself off the market and commit to an exclusive relationship, it’s worth figuring out if they could be "the one."

Here are 9 signs your casual relationship could be marriage material

1. You love spending time together

Your romance started as a weekly hangout, or maybe they were one of three people you were dating. But somewhere along the line, it turned into daily text messages and spending all of your free time together.

In other words, it’s no longer casual. Things escalated because you can’t get enough of each other.


signs your casual relationship could be marriage materialPhoto: Andres Ayrton / Pexels

RELATED: The #1 Way To Tell If He'll Ever Take Your Relationship Seriously

You skip work meetings to walk them to the subway. They take a cab from across town at rush hour for a few minutes of hand-holding. You sleep with the t-shirt they left at your house because it smells like them. Everything you do together — even taking out the trash — is beyond fun.


While being head-over-heels at the start of your relationship isn’t necessarily a sign that someone is marriage material, it certainly helps.

2. You aren’t playing games

No one is playing games and you already feel like you can trust each other. There are no stories that don’t add up or mysterious disappearances. They’re where they said they’d be, when they said they’d be there.

You aren’t interested in messing with each other’s feelings because you don’t want to risk losing someone you like so much. And you may have already told each other you aren’t dating other people — and you meant it.

If your gut is saying you don’t want to date anyone else because it doesn’t compare to what you two have, they could definitely be marriage material.


3. You want to get to know each other on a deeper level

You’re way beyond small talk. You want to know everything about them and vice versa — their favorite song, what they think about world affairs, and how many freckles they have on their body.

You also talk about the hard stuff, like messed-up families and mental health. And when you share, they listen properly and don’t use it against you later.



You’re keen to meet each other’s friends and family — maybe you already have — because it’s a way to learn more about one another and see if your lives could fit together.


Research says the happiest couples take the time to understand each other. If this is already happening in your relationship, it’s an excellent sign.

RELATED: 5 Critical Things To Get Straight Before Becoming 'Exclusive'

4. You prioritize each other’s happiness

When you’re casually dating, you’re not too invested in the other person’s well-being. So, if you find yourself going out of your way to make each other happy, it could be something serious.

Maybe you’ve been taking a detour on your way home from work to pick up their favorite cookies. Or they've been scrubbing their apartment because they know you're a clean freak. If you upset each other for some reason, you find out why and don’t do it again.


If you’re already considering each other’s needs and well-being, you truly care, which puts you on the path to a happy future together.

5. You make decisions together

You don’t have to agree on everything. In fact, it’s probably better if you don’t. But if you’re going to settle down with this person, you need to be able to resolve your differences in a way that feels productive.



Think about the decisions you’ve made together, like what to eat for dinner or what new adventure to go on next. How did it go? Were you both part of the decision-making process? Were you respectful of each other’s viewpoints?


If you were able to communicate effectively and reach a joint decision, it could be that you're meant to take your relationship from casual to official.

6. You bring out the best in one another

It’s a wise move to marry someone who makes you feel like the best possible version of yourself. Look for someone who accepts you and your quirks, and loves you all the more for them.

You might have noticed that, since this person came into your life, you’ve dropped bad habits and are evolving as a person and potential partner. If you’re helping each other learn, grow, and thrive, you’re with a winner.

RELATED: 15 Rare Signs You're In A True Partnership


7. You tick most of each other’s boxes

They may be a wonderful person, but are they right for you? It's important to make a prioritized list of specific qualities and values you want in a partner, just to be sure they "check" all your boxes.

signs your casual relationship could be marriage materialPhoto: Lauren Hogue / Pexels

Perhaps, you learned from previous relationships that strong conversational skills are a must. You may know that you need someone who's funny, loves to travel, puts family first, or shares your religion.


And it’s OK if they don’t tick everything on your wish list! As long as the most important items are covered, you can move forward optimistically.

8. You have similar plans for the future

One of the toughest problems couples face is not being on the same page about life plans. You must be aligned on the big things, like the age you want kids, or whether you want kids at all.

No matter how much you click, if your life goals and timelines don’t fit, you’re in trouble. If your vision for the future is similar or highly flexible, you’re on the right track to a lasting relationship.


9. You're both ready to give it a shot

Commitment is part and parcel of a long-term relationship. If you’re going to be in a relationship together, you have to both want to take things to the next level, which, for most people, means being exclusive.

To broach the commitment conversation, try saying something like this: "It’s been amazing dating you the past few months. I want to keep dating you, and I don’t want to date anyone else. I’d really like for our relationship to be exclusive and to see where it goes. Is that something you want, too?"



If you’ve been dating for long enough and one of you won’t commit (or does so reluctantly), the other person might not be marriage material. But don't fret if things don't work out — you now know exactly what you're looking for.


RELATED: How To Go From Casual To Committed & Build A Relationship That Lasts

Talia Litman is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and frequent contributor to YourTango. She works with motivated couples and individuals to transform their relationships with themselves and others.